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1 CONNECTION CABLE AND METHOD FOR AC TIVATING A VOLTAGE-CONTROLLED GENERATOR
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
This application is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/879,180, filed Jul. 16, 2007, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,834,484 the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein for all purposes.
1. Technical Field
The present disclosure relates generally to the field of minimally invasive surgery perfonned using electrosurgical techniques, and in particular, to a connection cable and method for connecting an electrosurgery generator to a robotic surgery system, enabling the electrosurgical generator to be controlled by a surgeon at the robotic master console.
2. Background of Related Art
Electrosurgery is a technique of using altemating current electrical signals, using a carrier frequency in the approximately 200 kHz-3.3 mHz range, in connection with surgical instruments, to cut or coagulate biologic tissue endoger1ically. This electrosurgical signal can be a sinusoidal wavefonn operating in a continuous mode at a 100% duty cycle, or pulse modulated at a duty cycle of less than 100%. Typically, electrosurgical signals are operated at 100% duty cycle for maximal cutting effect, and are pulse modulated at duty cycles ranging from 50% to 25% for less aggressive cutting, also referred to as blending, or, at a substantially lower duty cycle of approximately 6%, for coagulating. The electrosurgical carrier signal can also be varied in intensity. The electrosurgical signal is applied to the patient via electrodes in either monopolar mode, or bipolar mode. In monopolar mode, the active electrode is the surgical instrument at the surgical site, and the retum electrode is elsewhere on the patient, such that the electrosurgical signal passes through the patient’s body from the surgical site to the return electrode. In bipolar mode, both the active and retum electrodes are at the surgical site, effectuated by, for example, both tines of a pair of forceps, such that the electrosurgical signal passes through only the tissue that is held between the tines of the instrument. A surgeon’s decision to use monopolar or bipolar mode electrosurgery is often based upon various factors, including for example the type of procedure to be performed, or whether the patient is fitted with a metallic prosthesis or cardiac pacemaker.
A surgeon perfonns robotic surgery by sitting at a robotic master console and viewing a tl1ree-dimensional virtual operative field, while manipulating controls that remotely control robotic arms mounted on a separate robotic surgical cart. The robotic arms hold surgical instruments that follow the surgeon’s hand motions, and a stereoscopic video camera that transmits a tl1ree-dimensional view of the operative field to the surgeon. The t11ree-dimensional imaging, the hand-like motions of the robotic instruments, and the ability to assist the surgeon through motion scaling and tremor reduction techniques facilitate advanced minimally-invasive procedures that could not otherwise be perfonned using traditional endoscopic techniques.
When performing electrosurgery with manual (non-robotic) instruments, a surgeon can actuate an electrosurgery generator using hand switches located on the surgical instrument. For example, the surgeon can selectively apply a cut
ting waveform, a blending wavefonn or a coagulating waveform using the hand controls. However, this is not desirable or practical in the case of robotic surgery, because the surgical instruments are remotely controlled by a surgeon who is operating a robotic master console, which is located away from the patient.
The use of existing electrosurgery generators with robotic surgery systems without the need to modify or upgrade existing electrosurgery generators would be a great achievement in electro surgery and may ultimately achieve interoperability with robotic surgery systems and minimize or eliminate training and certification requirements imposed on physicians and other medical facility staff arising from the deployment of such modified electrosurgery generators.
It is an aspect of the present disclosure to provide a connection cable for actuating a voltage-controlled generator from a controlling device. Control signals originating within a controlling device are adapted for use by the voltage-controlled generator by an interface provided within the cable. In an embodiment, the cable has a first end, which includes a first cormector adapted to comiect to a voltage-controlled generator, such as an electrosurgery generator; a second end, which includes a second cormector adapted to comiect to a controlling device, such as a remotely-controlled robotic surgery system. A voltage divider is interdisposed between the first cormector and the second connector, the voltage dividerbeing configured to divide a reference voltage provided by the electrosurgery generator into at least one control voltage for selection by the controlling device. Each control voltage corresponds to an operating mode, command or parameter related to the electrosurgery generator, for example, a cut operation, a blend operation, and a coagulate operation. The connection cable includes a plurality of electrical conductors which operatively comiect the first connector, the second connector, and the voltage divider.
Control signals in the form of at least one switch closure, each corresponding to a desired operating mode of the electro surgery generator, originate within the robotic surgery system. The switch closure completes an electrical circuit whereby a corresponding control voltage is routed from the voltage divider to a mode input of the electrosurgery generator, which, in turn, generates the desired electrosurgery signal.
In an embodiment of the present disclosure, the voltage dividing network is disposed between +5 volts dc (+5Vdc) and ground (0Vdc) and is configured to provide at least one control voltage corresponding to an operating mode of the electrosurgery generator. In an embodiment, the voltage divider is comprised of four resistors connected in series, which, continuing with the present example, provides, in addition to the reference voltages of 0Vdc and +5 .0Vdc, three voltage taps, making available at each tap a control voltage corresponding to an operating mode of the electrosurgical generator, for example, a cutting, blending and coagulating mode. Each voltage tap is operably connected to a first contact of a switch configured for switching the voltage tap to the mode input of an electrosurgery generator.
In an embodiment, the switch includes a normally-open single pole single throw (SPST) switch within the robotic master console for actuation by a surgeon. It is also envisioned that the at least one switch can be a set of relay contacts, a solid-state switch, or inductive, capacitive, or other switching means as now or in the future may be known, capable of actuation by a surgeon operating the robotic sur